Is Web 2.0 just one big party?

Am I the only one who feels left out of the whole buzz and hum that is Web 2.0, with its launch parties and takeover parties and Flickr galleries of same? I’m joking, more or less, but sometimes Toronto — or just about anywhere that isn’t the Bay area — feels an awful long way away from where things are happening. Do you feel the same, Mark? Of course, Paul Kedrosky is lucky because he gets to travel to all the conferences and so on, so he’s like an honorary resident of Web 2.0-land.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.com only arrived a few months ago, and already his house is the place to be for Web 2.0 conference attendees and launch parties, like the recent one for facial-recognition software company Riya — the one that may or may not be about to become part of the Brin and Page family. Maybe it’s because of the giant yard and patio that Mike’s house has, which makes it easy to have 250 or so people over. Some think the focus on parties has gone a little too far.

Anyway, reading various blogs after the Riya party makes it obvious just how many people know each other and see each other regularly in this small crowd of Web 2.0 types — people like Robert Scoble of scobleizer.wordpress.com and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech, not to mention Gabe of memeorandum.com (although he wasn’t there), Fred Oliviera of webreakstuff.com and Scott Beale of Laughing Squid. It’s funny in a way how something that is based on the next-generation Internet — a distributed medium in which anyone can be anywhere and be close to whatever or whomever they want — still depends so much on face-to-face communication and who knows who.

Update: My friend and fellow tech writer Mark Evans posted something similar about Google’s Xmas party. And interestingly enough, Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web — who lives in New Zealand — just wrote something about how maybe being far away from Silicon Valley isn’t such a bad thing… he notes that Dan Grossman of A Venture Forth says companies may increasingly start to look outside the Valley when they’re hiring.

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